How is KIIT bad for girls

11.12.2020 11:08

Hardly any sport - but more exercise in lockdown

Monika Landgraf Strategic development and communication - overall communication
Karlsruher Institute for Technology

When football clubs and gymnastics clubs were closed for several weeks due to the corona pandemic in spring 2020, children and young people looked for opportunities to exercise in everyday life. The motor skills module study (MoMo) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Karlsruhe University of Education (PHKA) found in a supplementary study with more than 1,700 children and adolescents between four and 17 years of age: They have around Moved 36 minutes longer a day in their everyday life, but also spent an hour longer on the screen. The team is currently reporting on the results in the journal Scientific Reports. (DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-020-78438-4)

“Surprisingly, the boys and girls have looked for replacements for the discontinuation of sports activities, including those who were previously not active,” says Dr. Claudia Niessner. The scientist from the Institute for Sport and Sport Science (IfSS) of the KIT directs together with her colleague Dr. Doris Oriwol, KIT and PHKA, the research project, the results of which were published in the journal Scientific Reports published by Nature Research. The fact that schools, sports fields and playgrounds were closed from mid-March to the beginning of May to contain the corona pandemic was both bad luck and opportunity for the ten-person research team at KIT: The researchers had to close the current field studies of their motor module study (MoMo) Interrupt motor performance and movement behavior of children and adolescents because of the lockdown, but used the option of online surveys. “We were able to react quickly and cover the lockdown phase very well. The before-and-after comparison was only possible because we have long-term data; that is internationally unique, ”said Niessner. The researchers found, among other things, that both the general exercise time and the time spent in front of the screen increased. “It's not that more media time means less physical activity per se. In both areas there are U-shaped connections with a healthy lifestyle, ”says Dr. Steffen Schmidt, the first author of the scientific publication that was created as part of the MoMo research project.

Everyday exercise is less intense than club sport

"The survey shows that everyday activity has increased, but it was a snapshot in an exceptionally warm spring, and quantity is not quality," says Professor Alexander Woll, head of the IfSS and head of the MoMo study, which started in 2003. “Playing outdoors, biking, gardening or housework are not as intense as training and competitions in a club. In addition, there are no social aspects without a club and school, ”emphasizes the sports scientist. “Before the lockdown, there was more club sport than ever before, around 60 percent of children and young people in Germany are active in sports clubs. We don't yet know how the elimination of sport in schools and clubs will affect motor skills or obesity in the long term, ”says Woll. According to the study, the closure of the clubs meant an average of 28.5 minutes less sport per day. "Digital exercise offers have increased and will continue to grow, but it makes a difference whether I move in front of the screen or walk across a green meadow," says Woll. In addition to their everyday activity, the children and young people spent almost 18 minutes more per day doing “unorganized sports” such as kicking, basketball or badminton, namely around 24 instead of just seven minutes before the lockdown. Even if the 60 minutes of exercise recommended by the WHO were not achieved, the lockdown tended to encourage exercise, according to Woll. However, the sports scientist is skeptical about activity behavior in the current lockdown situation in winter. School sports are still open, which is positive, but the outdoor exercise opportunities are probably much less used in the cold, dark season, he explains.

The living environment plays an important role

“Our study shows that the environment in which children and young people live plays a major role,” says sports scientist Niessner. Those who live in a single-family house in a small community have moved the most, and the children and adolescents who live in multi-storey houses in the big city are the least active. "Movement areas are disappearing in urban planning, a countermovement is urgently needed here," says Woll.

The MoMo study is a joint joint project between KIT and PHKA. The deputy network manager Professor Annette Worth from the PHKA explains: “The school has an important task in relation to physical and sporting activity in times of Corona, in that the teachers guide, accompany, give feedback and motivate. This is especially important for children, for whom exercise, play and sport play a minor role at home ”.

The long-term study MoMo on the development of motor skills and physical activity in children and adolescents is part of the nationwide study on the health of children and adolescents in Germany (KIGGS) by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and is carried out by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF ) promoted. If possible, MoMo is to be continued in 2021 in order to investigate the long-term effects of the quantitative and qualitative changes in the world of exercise - including those caused by the pandemic - on the development of motor skills and the health of children and adolescents in Germany.

Original publication:

Steffen CE Schmidt, Bastian Anedda, Alexander Burchartz, Ana Eichsteller, Simon Kolb, Carina Mnich, Claudia Niessner, Doris Oriwol, Annette Worth & Alexander Woll: Physical Activity and Screen Time of Children and Adolescents before and during the COVID-19 Lockdown in Germany : A Natural Experiment. Scientific Reports 2020.

Information on the motor skills module study (MoMo):

Further press contact:

Sandra Wiebe, KIT Press Officer, Tel .: +49 721 608-41172
Email: [email protected]

Regina Schneider, PHKA press officer, phone: +49 721 925-4115, email: [email protected]

As an educational university with the right to award doctorates and postdoctoral qualifications, the Karlsruhe University of Education (PHKA) researches and teaches on educational processes both within and outside of school. Their distinctive profile is shaped by the focus on MINT, multilingual education and heterogeneity as well as an active teaching-learning culture. The range of courses includes teacher training courses for primary and secondary schools, bachelor and master courses for other fields of education, as well as professional training opportunities. Around 220 people working in science look after around 3,600 students.

As “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for society and
Environment. The aim is to make significant contributions to global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility and information. To this end, around 9,300 employees work together on a broad disciplinary basis in the natural, engineering, economics, humanities and social sciences. The KIT prepares its 24,400 students for responsible tasks in society, business and science through a research-oriented university course. The innovation activity at KIT bridges the gap between knowledge and application to the social benefit, economic prosperity and maintenance of our
natural foundations of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

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Hardly any sport - but more exercise in lockdown

Features of this press release:
Nutrition / health / care, society, pedagogy / education, sports science
Research results, scientific publications